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October 13, 2012

Noles reel in one of the nation's top guards

Rathan-Mayes highlight video

Florida State didn't have a lot of scholarships to hand out for the 2013 class after signing five prospects in 2012. However, one name on FSU's short list was Rivals150 guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, son of former FSU guard Tharon Mayes, who has big time range from the outside.

On Saturday night from his hometown of Toronto, Canada, the 25th-ranked player in the country made his college choice. Rathan-Mayes chose Florida State over Illinois and Connecticut.

He discussed with Warchant.com earlier this fall about why the 'Noles were so high on his list.

"Over the last two years, FSU has been one of the best programs in the country. I still think they don't get enough credit for what they have been doing in beating Duke, North Carolina on a consistent level. So it's not a fluke," said the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Rathan-Mayes. "The way coach (Leonard) Hamilton develops players - guys who are not even top-25 guys - into NBA players are just some of the things we looked at."

While most believed that his family connection had a factor in his decision, Rathan-Mayes says his father did not push him toward FSU or any other team.

"Obviously my dad played there and he's had some really good moments. I know he likes the program a lot and everybody always says that because my dad went there he would push me there, but my dad is not like that at all," he explained.

While Rathan-Mayes has been a big offensive threat on the court, his defense is what attracted FSU. It's the area in which he takes the most pride.

"My dad was always big on defense when he played, so he instilled that in me at a young age about defense. I want and like to guard the best offensive player on the court every game," he told Warchant.com in August. "I guard (2014 five-star prospect) Andrew Wiggins every day in practice and I take great pride in that. He's going to make me better going against him."

What kind of player is Florida State getting in Rathan-Mayes?

"He's a pure scorer, tireless worker, makes other guys around him better, makes other guys around him complete," said Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford. "On defense side of the ball, he's physical. He's not the most athletic kid in the world, but he is very intelligent when it comes to IQ for the game. He uses his strength. He just knows how to play."

What kind of impact does Fulford expect his star guard to make once he gets to FSU?

"He'll make an immediate impact. (They'll) score more points. The 50 point games are probably few and far between with him coming in," he laughed.

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